The crystallography of aluminum and its alloys

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This article begins with pure aluminum and a discussion of the form of the crystal structure and different unit cells that can be used to describe it. Measurements of the face-centered cubic lattice parameter and thermal expansion coefficient in pure aluminum are reviewed and parametrizations are given which allow the reader to evaluate them across the full range of temperatures where aluminum is a solid. A new concept called the “vacancy triangle” is introduced and demonstrated as an effective means for determining vacancy concentrations near the melting point of aluminum. The Debye–Waller factor, quantifying the thermal vibration of aluminum atoms in pure aluminum, is reviewed and parametrized over the full range of temperatures where aluminum is a solid. The nature of interatomic bonding and the history of its characterization in pure aluminum are reviewed with the unequivocal conclusion that it is purely tetrahedral in nature. The crystallography of aluminum alloys is then discussed in terms of all of the concepts covered for pure aluminum, using prominent alloy examples. The electron density domain theory of solid-state nucleation and precipitate growth is introduced and discussed as a new means of rationalizing phase transformations in alloys from a crystallographic point of view.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Encyclopedia of Aluminum and its Alloys
EditorsGeorge Totten, Murat Tiryakioglu, Olaf Kessler
Place of PublicationBoca Raton FL USA
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages99
ISBN (Electronic)9781351045636
ISBN (Print)9781466510807, 9781466510814
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Transmission electron microscopy (TEM)
  • electron diffraction
  • Aluminium alloys
  • Aluminium

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